Big guns deliver Perth a home final

24 January 2017

Johnson destroys Stars and Marsh motors Scorchers home in comfortable semi-final win

KFC BBL|06, Semi-Final


The scorecard: Melbourne Stars 8-136 (Gotch 48, Johnson 3-3) lost to Perth Scorchers 3-139 (Marsh 56no) by seven wickets with 19 balls remaining

The match in a tweet: Order restored! Scorchers repay Stars for BBL|05 defeat and march into home final on the back of some Mitch J magic #BBL06

The hero: Mitchell Johnson, take a bow. The lethal left-armer's international days are done but with a parochial full house behind him and with his rhythm working wonderfully, there were shades – burnt orange shades – of that glorious summer of 2013-14 when he owned the Ashes. Johnson finished with the quite astonishing figures of 3-3 from four overs, including a double-wicket maiden to kick-start the match and 21 dot balls, earning the record for the most economical completed spell in BBL history. And they weren't tailenders he was dismissing; Rob Quiney and Luke Wright both went for ducks with the first and fourth balls of the innings, before No.3 Kevin Pietersen clipped the ball to Michael Klinger at midwicket to depart for five. By the time he collected his cap at the end of his fourth over, he'd left an indelible mark on the contest.

Johnson's triple-strike stuns Stars

The knock: If Johnson cleaned them up, Shaun Marsh applied the spit and polish to really rub in a comprehensive defeat of the Stars. The duo had excelled in the Scorchers' final regular season match against the 'Canes in Hobart, and that proved a perfect form guide, as Marsh – who had been instructed to "play fearlessly" by coach Justin Langer played the perfect hand. In a twist of fate, Marsh will join his brother on Australia's ODI tour of New Zealand later this week, meaning he'll miss the final. 

Unbeaten Marsh steers Scorchers into final

The controversy: Did he or didn't he? Just about everyone at the WACA Ground – aside from standing umpire Shawn Craig – thought Scorchers opener Sam Whiteman had edged behind off Scott Boland in the fourth over. But Mr Craig was the man who mattered. Whiteman was 13 at the time, and went on to make 31.

Stars left 'seething' at turned-down appeal

The stat: Incredibly, these sides have now met at the semi-final stage in five of the six BBL seasons. And the Scorchers made it four from five tonight, getting revenge on their old rivals for their one semi-final victory in BBL|05.

The consolation knock: Amid the Johnson carnage, Seb Gotch played himself in and then duly provided his team with a total to play with. The 23-year-old, playing just his third BBL match, was mature and composed in making his way to 48 from 47 deliveries. He hit three sixes and three fours, and proved himself on the big stage in impressive fashion.

Pocket-rocket Gotch plays lone hand

The crowd catch: Well taken, sir!

Worrall's six well caught by spectator

The Marsh mark: From sorely out of touch, to simply untouchable – there's nothing Shaun Marsh can't do right now.

Marsh's fancy footwork sends Gulbis packing

The maximum: Ben Hilfenhaus is still trying to prove he's a batsman - this was huge!

Hilfy puts one into second tier

The wash-up: So it's season over for the Stars, who bow out in the semi-finals for the fifth time in six seasons and again are left to wonder what might have been. The competition's glamour club are always thereabouts at the business end, but never quite there. Meanwhile, the Scorchers head into a fifth final from six years of the tournament, and are now chasing a third title – against either the Sixers or Heat on Saturday night at the Furnace. 

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